Q1. I’ve been struggling to make ends meet. If I wanted to get some financial help, where could I go?
The Social Welfare Council (Shakai Fukushi Kyōgikai) of each city or town typically offers short-term loans, so you can consult with them. If they decide that it’s unrealistic for you to pay them back, they won’t give you the loan. Under Osaka’s Social Welfare Council regulations, you CANNOT receive loans (“welfare funds”) from them under the following circumstances:
•if you’re in a household with a co-signer (co-guarantor) for “welfare funds” (for example, if someone in your household is receiving unemployment or retirement assistance)
•if you’re in a household which has either not re-paid a loan or which has postponed a loan (including “public assistance” funds, “small-scale assistance,” or “emergency funds”)
•if you’re in a household receiving “single-mother household assistance” or other public funds, or in a household that is able to borrow
•if your household is in the process of declaring bankruptcy, or, your household has declared bankruptcy sometime within the past five years (this also includes “special mediation” with the court, civil rehabilitation, and voluntary liquidation)
Q2. Things are really tough right now, so I’d like to apply for public assistance. What should I do?
The public assistance system is a national system set up to support the independence of those who, due to illness or childcare or other circumstances, are struggling to meet a minimum standard of living, even if they use all means available to them. If you are a foreigner, you must be a permanent resident in order to use public assistance funds. Each welfare office processes requests for public assistance, so please consult with your nearest office. Here is a list of welfare offices in Osaka: